House price comparison site Rightmove has launched a new mobile website, following the success of its number one ranked iPhone app, in response to the growing opportunity amongst users of Android phones and other mobile operating systems.
The new mSite, uses HTML5 coding allowing it to replicate the most successful features of the app, such as integration with GPS and advanced mapping and directions, and instantly makes these features available to the estimated 11 million users of other Smartphones in the UK.
Rightmove predicts that the new mSite will significantly increase its number of mobile users. It hopes to repeat the success of its iPhone app, which became the number one free app following its launch on iTunes last year and currently receives over 1.5 million searches each week.
The developers behind the mSite and the app, mobile marketing specialists 2ergo, say that Rightmove's strategy is consistent with how the most innovative brands are starting to evolve their mobile strategy in response to the significant growth of Android and other mobile phone operating systems.
Stephen Mellish, Smartphone product consultant at 2ergo, says: "iPhone is no longer a single solution for brands seeking to establish their dominance amongst a mobile audience.
"With the increasing reach of operating systems such as Android and the ever growing number of alternative options, mSites create a more inclusive way to target users. HTML5 is also allowing brands to replicate the feel of an ‘app' through an mSite which is increasing its appeal to marketers."
However, Stephen believes apps and app stores will still play an important role as brands seek to create a presence on people's handsets.
"Brands should monitor the mobile traffic to their website to see if they have a critical mass of users coming through any particular system," says Stephen. "In Rightmove's case there was a clear demand from iPhone users for their service and therefore leading with an app was the right decision.
"Apps also offer the chance to raise profile through app stores and current consumer behaviour still means that apps are a good way to embed a brand in a consumer's mobile browsing habits.
"The challenge for mobile marketers, now and in the future, will be to make sure that they have a strategy that follows consumer behaviour and keeps pace with the ever growing number of operating systems, handsets and their capabilities."